Coffee livelihoods diversification project is funded by an American company by the name Keurig Inc. this company buys coffee from Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda. In Kenya, the focus area is Mukurweini Sub-county in Nyeri County in 5 locations namely Muhito, Githi, Rutune, Giathugu and Gikondi. The project however ventured into Thanu and Gakindu locations recently with a component on Saving and internal lending communities (SILC). All target beneficiaries are small holder coffee farmers.

The project started in June 2010 targeting 1000 farmers and later expanded by targeting an extra 500 beneficiaries in the year 2011. The current direct beneficiaries stand at 1500 and 18000 indirect beneficiaries.

Project Goal
The livelihoods of vulnerable smallholder coffee growing households in Nyeri County of Kenya improved.


  • 1,500 vulnerable smallholder coffee growing households have increased their food security.
  • 1,500 vulnerable smallholder coffee growing households have increased their access to financial services.

Activities (objective 1)

  1. Participants selection and farmer groups formation
  2. Voucher training for farmers and seed vendors
  3. Conducting seed fairs
  4. Training farmers on good agronomic practices for banana-legume-coffee inter cropping
  5. Acquisition and distribution of 30,000 tissue culture bananas
  6. Training farmers on improved dairy goat farming
  7. Acquisition and distribution of 600 dairy goats

Activities (Objective 2)

  1. Project staff training on Saving and Internal lending Communities (SILC) methodology
  2. Recruitment of SILC field agents
  3. Promote and educate communities on SILC methodology by field agents
  4. Establishment of SILC groups
  5. Field agents examined for certification as Private Service Providers (PSPs)
  6. PSPs certification process

Improved Food security

  1. Increased food production as seen through bananas whose production went up from 17 bunches at baseline to 44 in year 4 (259%) as reported in the annual farmer survey done in February, 2014.
  2. Despite inadequate rainfall in year 4, farmers produced beans at 97.5% of the annual target of 39.3 Kgs.
  3. The project has also contributed 600 dairy goats to farmers and a further 380 passed on among them, this further improved food security as a result of increased milk production at household level.
  4. Household food sufficiency went up from 5 months at baseline to 8 months in year 4.

Increased Household Income

  1. The beneficiaries through the annual farmer survey done in February, 2014 reported increased income at household level resulting from the increased yields of coffee, bananas and beans and sale of goats’ milk. This was attributed to continuous technical support from the implementing team and stakeholders on general crop husbandry and incorporation of organic manure composted from the dairy goat unit.
  2. SILC activities further provided livelihoods diversification to beneficiaries through savings and borrowing of funds to start income generating activities hence further improving household income. Annual share out as at December 2013 stood at USD 79,382 for 81 SILC groups.

Use of Strategic Information

  1. The project made use of accurate and timely information to inform key decisions. This was as seen through the project’s monitoring and evaluation system that informed fast tracking of SILC activities and partner engagement.

Improved stakeholder linkage
Key focus was given on stakeholder support to enhance sustainability and increase technical support to the beneficiaries. Key stakeholders engaged include:

  1. Ministry of Agriculture who offered technical trainings on intercropping of coffee, bananas, legumes and general coffee agronomy.
  2. Coffee Research Foundation Kenya-provision of disease tolerant and high yielding coffee varieties (Ruiru 11 and Batian) in an effort to produce organic coffee.
  3. Dairy Goats Association of Kenya (DGAK) – provision of technical support in goat breeding, management and marketing.
  4. Africa Harvest –Support on tissue culture production and marketing.

Inability to recruit 225 SILC groups as previously planned.

coffee banana intercrop démonstration Garden at Karuoro

coffee banana intercrop démonstration Garden at Karuoro


enterprise diversification using loan from SILC